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Gosford Park Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Universal Classics
  • ASIN: B00005UNCB
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Screen composer Patrick Doyle has a resumé full of adaptations of classic British literature (Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Sense and Sensibility, Great Expectations), which made him a good choice for Gosford Park, director Robert Altman's murder mystery set at an English estate in 1932. Typical for Altman, who has used music, especially songs, prominently in many of his films (think of M.A.S.H.'s "Suicide Is Painless" and the song score to Nashville), Gosford Park already has a built-in musical element: One of the characters is the real historical figure Ivor Novello (1893-1951; played and sung by Jeremy Northam), a songwriter second only to Noël Coward among the major British theater composers of the first half of the 20th century (though much less well-known in the U.S.). Six of Novello's sophisticated, witty songs form the core of the film's music, and Doyle has constructed a score to complement them and, of course, to suit the ins and outs of the Upstairs/Downstairs crossed with Agatha Christie plot. The soundtrack album contains 16 of his cues, most of them short pieces that state a mood using only a piano or a few pieces and then end without developing further. They are in a variety of styles, from jazz to classical, but maintain a discreet background tone. There are also a couple more songs in the Novello style co-written by Altman and sung by Abigail Doyle. It makes for a pleasant listen in which the Novello songs, particularly the comic "And Her Mother Came Too" (a favorite of cabaret singer Bobby Short), stand out.

Amazon.co.uk

Thematically, director Robert Altman's career sometimes seems an endless series of left-turns into the unexpected; the one constant has been a rich and rewarding attention to the intricacies of character development and interaction. Composer Patrick Doyle underscores Gosford Park's Merchant-Ivory/Agatha Christie/Altman-wit fusion and 1930s British upper-class setting with a score that's authentic for the period, character-rich and often sadly evocative. Doyle's restraint is masterful, often leaning on piano, accordion and small string arrangements that emphasise the characters' intimacies and the film's drawing-room settings. Key to the story are a handful of pre-war songs by Ivor Novello (who's also a character in the film), ranging from the sprightly humour of "And Her Mother Came Too" and "What a Duke Should Be" to the romantic schmaltz of "I Can Give You the Starlight" and "Why Isn't It You?". The latter is performed here at the piano (and, remarkably, live before the cameras) by actor Jeremy Northam. Leavened by a small jazz ensemble and a few darkly ominous cues, Doyle's score is an understated gem.--Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
When i heard that there would be some Ivor Novello music in Gosford Park, i immediately decided to go see it, even though i'm not really a 'whodunnit' person. I was more than pleasantly suprised. Apart from the fact that the film is a delight to watch, the score is one of the best i've ever heard. I think Ivor Novello would have been pleased with the result-Jeremy Northam did him justice. At 16, i haven't had much experience in music, but i know when i hear it played and sung with real talent.
I love all the tracks, but the real gems are 'The Land That Might-Have-Been', a beauty if you're a hopeless romantic like me, and 'And Her Mother Came To' is a right giggle if you listen to the words. As usual, the old ones are the best. God Bless Robert Altman for his insight and style in choosing a beautiful score.
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Format: Audio CD
What ho! to all potential buyers...
This soundtrack combines the original score (by Patrick Doyle, who also wrote the music to Sense and Sensibility) and some very fine songs by Ivor Novello et al.
The film is an ensemble masterpiece looking at the very personal, political and social changes at work around a murder at a Country House weekend. This soundtrack does not disappoint... it also reflects the characters' states-of-mind, positions within society and the household and above all, it exemplifies the wonderfully mannered songs of the period.
Novello is played by Jeremy Northam, a fine British actor, who dazzles with his singing on this CD. He is wonderful as the movie star entertainer, providing songs and music for the bored Shooting set. If you enjoyed the humour of the film (and Northam's performance in particular) - you'll love this CD!
The soundtrack stands alone as a wonderfully evocative exploration of the worlds 'upstairs' and 'downstairs', whilst never really taking sides. Doyle has created a superb soundtrack with a blend of romance, love, cynicism and humour.
Even if you haven't seen the film yet, this CD is a great addition to the collection as it is not repetitive or dull, as so many soundtracks can be. It does not have endless loops or reprises.
Instead, it creates a world for the listener, evoking and conjuring views of 1930s Britain and a post-Second World War optimism.
Funny, mannered, clever songs coupled with fantastic original music - a wonderful tie-in to the film, whilst also being a great CD in its own right.
Dress for dinner and dance the evening away to this CD!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Patrick Doyle's music for this wonderful 1930s country-house murder mystery, with its fabulous cast, is attractive, if necessarily fragmentary. What are especially pleasurable, however, are the interpolated instrumental numbers and songs by Ivor Novello, sung in exactly the right intimate style by the actor, Jeremy Northam, who plays Novello in the film and is accompanied on the piano by Christopher Northam. (The fact that the actor looks nothing like the composer is by the way.) The stand-out number is on the last track of the CD, The Land Of Might-Have-Been, a haunting song that unerringly sums up Novello's now lost world of romantic musicals.
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Great tunes and wonderful evocative music. I prefer Jeremy Northam's voice to original recordings featuring Ivor Novello. Latter seems so dated now.
Could Chris Northam, the pianist be any relation to Jeremy?
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Melodic music and beautiful lyrics. Anyone who enjoyed the film will not be disappointed with this cd. Very evocative and true to the period. I was particularly in awe of Jeremy Northam's vocals - brilliant!
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This is a delightful score to a terrific film made even better by Jeremy Northam's portrayal of Ivor Novello and his expert rendition of a selection of songs. I particularly like 'The Land of Might- Have-Been' which is really charming.
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The technicality of Jeremy Northam's singing and piano playing is really rather good, but he is an ex-chorister. His brother Christopher plays on the CD of the soundtrack, and the lyrics of Ivor Novello are wonderful. I had the melodies for a couple of the songs in my head for days.
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